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I have a music compact disc. When I insert it into my computer, I get through tracks 1-3 just fine, and part way through 4 before the player throws an error. I get an identical response in another computer, so it must be the disc.

I've tried using a microfiber cloth to clean the disc, but it hasn't resolved the issue. There are no visible scratches on the disc.

Is there something more effective I can use to clean it -- besides a dry cloth -- without damaging the disc?

7

This doesn't sound like a clean disk issue.

But, I digress.

First off, compact disks are made primarily out of plastic. Thus, proper liquids should be used. (Water in this case)

  1. Rinse the surface of the disk with water. If the disk is greasy/etc, use water and a tiny bit of soap.
  2. Shake the disk to dry off some of the water.
  3. Dry the disk using a microfiber cloth. However, dry it by starting from the middle and swiping out. Repeat until completely dry.
2

There still may be scratches on the disk diffusing the light. CDs do not go "bad" as magnetic media will, but they may become scratched or scuffed at an inopportune place without being apparent. If the quality of recording is near the threshold of readability, any change to the surface may render it unreadable.

There is the banana trick among other things. Rub a fresh banana onto the CD, clean off with the inside of the banana peel, then wash with soap and water. The wax left behind may fill in scratches and improve readability. Probably any type of wax will work, but if thick wax is used it will have to be buffed down onto the surface. Buffing is creation of heat through friction. http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2007/08/11/how-to-use-a-banana-to-fix-a-scratched-cd-or-dvd/

An older CD player may read the disk. After trying many players in different computers you may find one that plays it.

Another option is to obtain software specially made to read the CD. It will try over and over and over again to read the bad spot until hopefully successful.

Try placing the CD in the freezer then placing in the reader directly from the freezer. Also try warming it a little bit. The hope is to change the dynamic just enough to go back over the threshold of readability.

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I have used Turtle Wax car wax on several CDs that were skipping, etc., and it has worked every time. Of course, these were fairly minor scratches or gunk. It might not work on really deep scratches.

Use it the same way you would on a car. Apply it with gentle circular motion using damp soft cloth. Let it dry to a powder. Wipe clean with dry soft cotton cloth (e.g. undershirt).

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Buy a tube of profi-paste (gritty professional tooth-paste) and slather about 2 finger-fulls onto the shiny side of the CD and gently swipe your index and middle finger finger in a roundabout motion around that side of the CD for a full 5 minutes.

Wash off the excess tooth paste with lukewarm tap water, shake off excess water and dry it off with a lint-free cloth (no paper towels/toilet paper, ... as they will aggravate the problem! Micro-fibre is best) and then insert it into the CD drive and it'll allow you to copy them one last time... (Don't continue using them; just make a copy or ask someone to copy them for you!)

Just throw them away afterwards...

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